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Inside The Magic Castle, Hollywood’s Most Secret Club

Joe Avella: The Magic
Castle is an exclusive club run by the Academy of Magical Arts, but only their members
and guests are allowed in. Founded in 1963, The Magic
Castle looms over Hollywood. It’s pretty hard to miss. I’ve been curious about The
Magic Castle since I moved here, and, doing research, turns
out it’s incredibly exclusive. There’s really only two ways to get in: be a member or get an invite from a member. Joe Furlow: We are a private club, very similar to a country
club or yacht club, we just deal with the art of magic. Joe Avella: I got an
exclusive tour of The Castle, which, in addition to the
many bars, magic theaters, and full dining area, it also features a séance room, a library filled with decades
of secret magic tricks, and even ghosts. This is one of most exclusive
clubs in Los Angeles, and they have been nice
enough to let us in early to show us all the ins and outs
of this really great place. For starters, to get into this place, you have to enter through
a trick bookshelf. Rmax Goodwin: So, you say
to the owl, “Open, sesame.” Joe: Mo, you wanna do the honors? Mo: Open, sesame. Rmax: Come on in, after you! Joe: Cool! Magician and mentalist Rmax Goodwin was nice enough to give us a tour. Rmax: So, this is the main bar, and at any given night from, let’s say, five to midnight, this place is packed with
magicians and their guests, and people are here to
see incredible magic in a bunch of different showrooms, have dinner, have
drinks, have a good time. Joe: Oh, do you notice
everyone is dressed up? The Magic Castle has an
incredibly strict dress code. I’m the kind of guy, if
you see me in a suit, I’m either on my way
to a funeral or court. But with The Magic Castle,
they have a strict dress code, no exceptions. Rmax: So, now we’re going to
enter the close-up gallery of The Magic Castle, which is a really unique theater,
it’s an intimate setting, seats only 30 people, it’s a really interactive space where you can see magic really close-up. Joe: What type of magic is
best for a room like this? Rmax: So, I would say close-up magic. And close-up magic is defined
in the magic community as magic that breaks the fourth wall. Joe: Can I put you on the spot right now and show us a trick? Rmax: Yeah, sure. Of course. Mo.
Mo: Yes. Rmax: Normally, if you see a magician, they would say something
like, “Pick a card.” Right? That’s the classic
thing that you’re expecting. I just want you to name one. Any card you want. Joe: No way. I’m already like, “No way is this gonna happen.”
Rmax: From a deck of cards, anything you’d like. Mo: Jack of spades. Rmax: Jack of spades, OK. And why don’t you hold
out a hand, palm up? Perfect. So, we will use something like, all right, we have a queen here. Mo: All right, that wasn’t my card. Rmax: That’s OK, we’re getting there. Joe: Start over! Rmax: Queen of diamonds. So, hold out your hand like this, Mo. Joe: You said jack of spades?
Mo: Yeah. Joe: OK, I already forgot. Rmax: Jack of spades,
all right. So, obviously, you could have said something
like a three, right? Watch this. That’s it. It’s done.
Joe: What’s it? Get the…. What the h—? What the h—! Will we be able to see how you did that? Because we just filmed that. Like, if we got back,
will we see, like…? Mo: You cannot do that!
Rmax: You can’t see anything. Joe: What? Cannot do what? Mo: You can’t tell magician secrets. Joe: No, I’m just saying, we filmed it. So, like, if I’m watching the video… Mo: Oh, like in slow motion? Rmax: Do you wanna name one? Any card you’d like, 52 cards. Mo: Do you remember the cards? Joe: Yeah, I do remember the cards. Rmax: Don’t come up with, like,
queen of jacks or something. Joe: OK, OK. I’ll go with the eight of hearts. Rmax: Eight of hearts. And did you feel like
that was a free choice, or did I kind of make you say that? Joe: You didn’t make me say
it, but I’m working hard to pick a card that I don’t
think you think I’m thinking. Rmax: Oh, OK. So maybe there was some
reverse psychology, though. Joe: I said eight of hearts?
Rmax: Eight of hearts. Joe: Yeah. Rmax: So, the reason I’m asking is that the eight of
hearts is the one card I always leave in the box. Mo: F—! Sorry! Joe: What the…? Rmax: I always leave a card in the box. Joe: Dude, what the h—? I’m, like…. Rmax: Don’t worry, it wears
off in, like, a week or so. Joe: I don’t feel comfortable
being with this guy anymore. This is weird. Like, later he’s just gonna be like, my watch is gonna appear
on his wrist or something. I’m keeping my hand on my wallet
for the rest of this thing. Next, we went to one of my
favorite rooms in The Castle: the Harry Houdini Séance Chamber. Joe Furlow: Houdini was the best. He really defined what magic is today, and this was back in the ’20s. He passed away on October 31, 1926, and he’s still known as the
greatest magician of all. Back there, we’ve got one of the trunks that he would escape out of. Joe Avella: Houdini was
obsessed with séances, attempting to reach his
mother in the afterlife. Joe Furlow: We do the
Houdini séance experience inside that room. It is our only private
dining space that we have here at The Castle. It is a very sacred room, a
coveted room, so to speak. Rmax: When Houdini was famous, there was a couple other magicians who were dueling at the time, one of whom was Dante. And Houdini and Dante had a big rivalry, almost like a Hollywood rivalry, where they absolutely hated each other. And so we have another
room here at The Castle, part of the dining area, that’s called the Dante Room, right? So, when there was a fire here, maybe six or seven years ago, parts of The Castle were
absolutely destroyed, or not destroyed, but were damaged; that was the Dante Room. This room, though, the
Houdini Séance Room, was completely spared. And what’s really interesting is that Houdini died on Halloween, right? And the fire happened on Halloween. So, some people speculate
that maybe the ghosts, or, I don’t know, somebody
involved in Houdini’s past, may have spared Houdini’s room, and just to spite Dante, said, “Yeah, let’s burn that little area down.” Joe Avella: And, quick epilogue, after this, we went to the Dante Room, and I had a little fun at his expense. Look at his jerk.
Rmax: There he is! Joe: Look at that smile.
Rmax: There he is. Joe: He makes me want to
set this room on fire. Anyway, later that night we
had dinner in the Dante Room, and it was great. I got a little bit carried away, and when the bill came, it was like 250 bucks. It was like Dante was staring down at me, as if to say, “Who looks
like the jerk now?” This video’s a little too anti-Dante, and I feel bad about it, all right? I’m sure he’s a good dude.
Rmax: Yeah, who knows? Maybe he’ll end up doing something to you. Joe: Yeah. Oh, God! The Castle has several bars. My favorite is the Owl Bar, named so for the fortune-telling
owl perched above. Rmax: Archimedes will answer questions of both members and guests at any time. Joe: Guests of The Magic Castle have several magic shows to choose from, and they go pretty much all night. Small rooms, big rooms, magic at the bar. You’re pretty much surrounded
by amazing magic all night. The most secretive part
of The Magic Castle is their library of magic. Which, of course, I was not let in. Sorry. Joe Furlow: We have books in
our library dating back to 1786 that show exactly how magic is done. That library is probably
the best magic library in the world. The library is the one area that we’d like to continue
to think of as sacred ground. Rmax: And this is the library. Joe Avella: Do you want
to check the handle, see if it’s unlocked? Rmax: Let’s give it a shot. Mo: Can you work magic on it? Rmax: No. Joe Furlow: I think, when you come here and you are amazed by our
professionals that we have in here on a week-to-week basis, it takes you back to that
first magic trick that you saw, at whatever age it was. It was that sense of bewilderment. And I think in today’s
world, and today’s society, we need a little bit more of that.


  1. Sally Noble Author

    I was able to celebrate a birthday here! My best friends uncle was a magician there for years. It really is the most amazing experience

  2. lafeil Author

    This suggestions can do channel call costumes. Fans of TV and movies like learn how make some costumes. For example power rangers would love learn how make suits from the show.


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